When it comes to radiation therapy for prostate cancer not all types of radiation are the same. And not all of them pack the same punch. Stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT sends targeted high-dose radiation to a specific part of the body – like the prostate – to kill the cancer.
It is faster and more powerful than traditional radiation.
How Long Has SBRT Been Around?
SBRT has been used for more than two decades. According to the National Library of Medicine, SBRT originated in the early 1990s in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Karilinska Institute and was first used for lung and liver cancers.
As it was being developed in Sweden, researchers in Japan, also began using it for lung cancer. FDA approval in the United States came in 2001, but it had been used in clinical trials for at least 10 years with good to excellent results, which is why it got FDA approval. Much of the research in the U.S. was done at Stanford University under the direction of neurosurgeon Dr. John Adler.
To this day the research and clinical studies continue, treating all types of cancer with positive outcomes, which is why it is also becoming the gold standard treatment for many types of cancers, tumors, and nerve disorders. It is the number one choice for many patients and doctors.
What Are the Different Types of SBRT?
Not all SBRT devices are the same. There are several types.
CyberKnife: CyberKnife uses a technology with an image guided linear accelerator to deliver precision radiation using a robotic arm, according to Accuray, CyberKnife’s maker. “The CyberKnife has an accuracy that is sub-millimetric, which can help significantly reduce the risk of the side effects that too often disrupt the lives of patients during and after treatment,” Accuray states.
Gamma Knife: According to the Mayo Clinic, Gamma Knife machines use 192 or 201 small beams of gamma radiation to treat cancerous tumors and other abnormalities in the brain with computer-guided technology.
Proton Beam Therapy: According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, proton therapy uses protons – positively charged particles — instead of radiation to target a tumor. With high energy, the protons can kill cancer cells.
How Does SBRT Work?
While there are different types of SBRT, they work similarly to deliver precision radiation to a tumor without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. In most cases, SBRT has lower side effect risks than with traditional radiation or traditional surgery.
Who Can Benefit From SBRT?
In short, different cancer patients can benefit from different types of SBRT. If you are diagnosed with cancer and need radiation, talk to your doctor about SBRT.
The experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami — a state-of-the-art cancer treatment center that uses noninvasive SBRT can also provide a second opinion or offer a consultation if you’re diagnosed with cancer.
We have seen patients from across South Florida and around the world since we opened our doors two decades ago. Because we’ve been using CyberKnife from the beginning, we train other teams at cancer centers how to use CyberKnife most effectively, and we take cases other centers may not treat because they don’t have the experience we do.
What Makes SBRT Different?
The big differences between conventional radiation and SBRT are the time it takes, the precision, and the power of treatments. With traditional therapy, radiation is delivered to a patient in small doses over a period of several weeks and months. With SBRT, patients receive greater doses of radiation over a much shorter time span.
CyberKnife SBRT also delivers radiation beams from hundreds of different directions to the tumor with pinpoint accuracy. Other radiation hits a bigger area, which can result in damage to healthy tissue near the target site.
“SBRT has shown dramatically better outcomes than conventional radiation therapy. Whereas two-year success rates for conventional treatment range from 30 to 40 percent, the success rates for SBRT range from 80 to 90 percent — comparable to those of resection surgery but with far fewer risks. Despite the fact that SBRT delivers a higher biological dosage of radiation, patients have experienced fewer side effects, including radiation pneumonitis. Slight fatigue for one week following treatment is SBRT’s most common side effect,” according to UCLA Health.
What Kind of Cancers Can SBRT Treat?
SBRT can be used to treat lung, liver, spine, kidney, brain, lymph node, pancreatic, metastatic cancers, and prostate cancers. CyberKnife, in particular, can also be used to treat lymphoma and other conditions – like acoustic neuromas and trigeminal neuralgia — where radiation treatment is necessary.
Are all SBRTs the Same?
In short, no.
Each type of SBRT works differently, and each center has different levels of expertise. That’s why if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer – trust the experts, at CyberKnife Miami, who have been using SBRT for two decades.
The CyberKnife Advantage for Prostate Cancer
CyberKnife has been shown to have up to a 98% cure rate for prostate cancer.
During treatment, CyberKnife’s robotic system tracks prostate or tumor and moves with the patient. It compensates for the slightest movement from the patient – like each breath – to accurately target a tumor without harming healthy tissue.
CyberKnife is non-invasive and painless. There are generally few – if any – complications with treatment.
Since CyberKnife is so accurate, it delivers high doses of radiation in fewer treatments than conventional radiation. With CyberKnife, most patients need one to five treatments as opposed to 25 to 40 with conventional radiation.
Here are a few other benefits of cancer treatment with CyberKnife:
- Excellent control of tumors
- Lower risk of damage to healthy tissue
- Better quality of life while undergoing treatment
CyberKnife Treatment: Miami, FL
The experts at CyberKnife Miami see the CyberKnife advantage every day.
“CyberKnife has few side effects. Its pinpoint radiation beams hit only the tumor so we can give a much higher dose with a lot fewer treatments, leaving healthy surrounding tissue unharmed. There’s over 20 years of published studies support,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami.
We opened our doors 20 years ago. We were the first CyberKnife center to open in the Southeast United States. And we’re here to help you.
If you are interested in learning more about CyberKnife Miami call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our website.